In a recent blog post, Twitter announced that it will no longer be offering text message two-factor authentication for free accounts. Instead, only users that pay for its premium Twitter Blue service will be able to use the safety feature.
Twitter says that the change is effective from March 20th and anyone with a free account will need to disable this method in the next month and activate another one of Twitter’s security measures. The platform currently offers an authentication app or a security key instead.
Anyone still relying on a text message code to log into their account will be vulnerable from next month, as hackers could potentially access their account using just a password. Users with a password that’s easy to guess or used on another service are particularly at high risk.
Twitter has justified the decision by saying that SMS two-factor authorisation can be abused by bad actors and that it is “committed to keeping people safe and secure on Twitter.”
Despite there being some risks of using two-factor authorization, it remains one of the safest ways to protect your online accounts. However, there are still ways to keep your account safe without paying for the premium Twitter service every month.
According to advice from TechCrunch, the best way to protect your account without using text message two-factor authorization is to switch to app-based two-factor authorization instead. A lot of online sites and apps offer this service and it’s more secure and just as fast as text.
Rather than getting a code sent to your phone in a message, it generates a code through an authenticator app on your phone.
To set it up, first download an authenticator app on your phone like Duo, Authy, or Google Authenticator. Then, go to your Twitter settings and check the Security section, where there should be an option in “Two-factor authentication settings to select “Authentication app”.